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September 06, 2013

With Anthony Spencer out of practice again Friday, it's all hands on deck in the DL

The Cowboys expect to have all available hands on deck among their defensive linemen Sunday. They have been hit hard by injuries in the defensive line.

"Injures are a part of this league, and it’s just the nature of this league," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday morning. "You put the next guy in, and you go forward, and that’s what the situation is. That’s the mindset we have as an organization, as a coaching staff and as players. You hear me say this a lot, but injuries provide opportunities, and there are some great stories of someone getting hurt, somebody stepping in and showing what they can do. And that guy has a role on your team, becomes a starter on the team and becomes a great player in this league. We have those examples on this football team so there are things you can point to and that’s the mindset you have."

Starting defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is on the physically unable to perform list and will miss at least the first six games while recovering from a groin injury. Starting defensive end Anthony Spencer is not on the practice field again Friday and is not expected to play Friday. Spencer has not practiced since undergoing right knee surgery July 25 and said Thursday he had a setback in his rehab over the weekend.

The Cowboys then added reserve defensive tackle Ben Bass to the injury list Thursday when he dislocated his shoulder in practice. Bass, who is in a sling, will miss at least this week, leaving the Cowboys with only Landon Cohen behind Jason Hatcher and Nick Hayden at defensive tackle.

They will have to have some position flex with their defensive ends. George Selvie is expected to start at left end in place of Spencer, with DeMarcus Ware at his usual right end spot. The Cowboys traded for ends Caesar Rayford and Edgar Jones in recent days. They also have second-year veteran Kyle Wilber.

"You just kind of work with the guys we have," Garrett said. "We’re excited about the group we have. You’d like to have them together for longer, but that’s the nature of this league. You’ve just got to make do with what you have and go forward. Excited to see those guys play and take advantage of their opportunity."

-- Charean Williams

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